Messenger of the Gods: The Singles

Messenger of the Gods: The Singles

by Freddie Mercury


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Released to coincide with what would have been Freddie Mercury's 70th birthday, the excellent 2016 double-disc anthology Messenger of the Gods: The Singles brings together all of the legendary Queen vocalist's solo A-side and B-side singles. Originating from a variety of projects, including Mercury's one and only proper solo album, 1985's Mr. Bad, these are all the songs released under Mercury's name and not as Queen singles. Nonetheless, there was some cross-pollination and several of these songs were later reworked as Queen tracks. While Queen were primarily known for their muscular, guitar-oriented rock, they were also innovators who experimented with funk and dance grooves. Mercury himself was always an eclectic artist whose tastes ranged from early rock & roll to disco to classical music. Not surprisingly, he indulged in all of these genres on his many solo endeavors, collaborating with several pop production icons including Queen associate Reinhold Mack (T. Rex, Electric Light Orchestra, Deep Purple) and disco giant Giorgio Moroder. Subsequently, many of the tracks featured here -- including the synthy "Living on My Own," the yearning ballad "Made in Heaven," and the soaring, Eurovision-ready anthem "I Was Born to Love You" -- lean in a pop direction. Of course, he never completely gave up rock, and cuts like the dramatic "In My Defence" and the emotive "Time," both extracted off the soundtrack to the Dave Clark musical Time, are swaggering power ballads that don't sound at all out of place within his oeuvre, with or without Queen. Mercury also had a keen ear for covers, especially ones that seemed to reflect his own glamorously mutative persona, as he did with his cheeky 1987 version of the Platters' "The Great Pretender" and his cinematic 1973 take on the Gerry Goffin and Carole King composition "Goin' Back." Notably, we also get Mercury's genre-bending duets with operatic soprano Montserrat Caballé, including "The Golden Boy," "Overture Piccante," and "Barcelona," with Mercury's multi-tracked vocals set against Caballé's soaring timbre. Overwhelming in both their articulate beauty and emotional depth, these duets sound even more innovative 20 years on, as they clearly prefigured the rise of artists like Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, and the classical crossover genre as a whole. Ultimately, Messenger of the Gods reveals Mercury as an artist well ahead of his time, unbound by genre constraints, whose immense talents and charisma remain as indelible as ever.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/02/2016
Label: Hollywood Records
UPC: 0050087348830
catalogNumber: 002431302
Rank: 1984

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Freddie Mercury   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Carole King   Composer
Freddie Mercury   Composer,Producer
Ellie Greenwich   Composer
Gerry Goffin   Composer
Giorgio Moroder   Composer,Producer
Buck Ram   Composer
Phil Spector   Composer
Jeff Barry   Composer
Robin Geoffrey Cable   Producer
Dave Clark   Composer,Producer,Remixing
Colin Peter   Producer,Engineer,Re-arranged
Julian Raymond   Additional Production
Richard Wolf   Remixing,Additional Production
Tim Rice   Composer
David Richards   Producer
Serge Ramaekers   Producer,Engineer,Re-arranged
Jeff Daniels   Composer
Richard Gray   Art Direction
John Christie   Composer
Carl Ward   Producer,Engineer,Re-arranged
David Soames   Composer
Reinhold Mack   Producer
Mike Moran   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Greg Brooks   Sleeve Notes

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